The Friends of St James the Great, Thorley


Report by the Secretary to the Annual Parochial Church Meeting, 29 April 2012

At the Friends' 2010 Annual General Meeting we agreed the request from the Parochial Church Council that our next fundraising project should be in respect of repairs to the stonework and stained glass of a number of the Church windows. By the time of last year's Meeting we had 10,000 at our disposal for the project, and estimated that it was likely to take another year of fundraising to raise the full 18,500 required. The Friends were therefore delighted to announce just before Christmas that we had had already reached that target.

One of the reasons we met the target earlier than expected was the financial success of our 2011 Festival of Flowers and Music. Visitors were able to view flower arrangements portraying the Trades & Cries of Old London. They were also treated to performances by the St James Music Fellowship and number of other musical moments. Together with the Craft Fair, which was extended to all three days of the Festival for the first time, the Mini Fete on the Monday, and a chance for visitors to sit and chat over refreshments, the Festival was also a great outreach success.

The other fund raising activities during the course of the year were a sale of plants in May, our ever popular Quiz Evening in October, an Autumn Craft Fair in November, and our sale of Sunday afternoon teas from the Church Room during the summer months. We've decided to reschedule the Quiz Evening so as to space our events more evenly over the year. So you'll have to sit tight and wait until March of next year for its next outing.

The Friends were once again very grateful to Maureen Hargrave for extending the summer season of Sunday afternoon teas and reverting to the serving of soup and roll lunches over the winter months, to maintain fellowship and outreach from the Church Room throughout the year. We were similarly grateful to Bob and Brenda Williams for continuing to organise regular Whist Drives, the profits from which they kindly donated to the Friends.

The Friends' website continued to attract considerable interest during the year. The most significant recent addition has been short biographies of all the Rectors of Thorley, from the first recorded incumbent, William Vigerons, right through to the Rector who served during the latter years of the Second World War.

New members are always welcome. The minimum family subscription is only 5.00.

Philip Hargrave

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